Tax and practice software house TaxCalc turned up at QuickBooks Connect in London this week to announce its two-way integration with the cloud bookkeeping platform.
Pointing to a working copy of the new hook-up, TaxCalc chief operating officer Simon Guest said it added new facilities that aren’t available with the .CSV trial balance imports used with other bookkeeping tools.
The link connects TaxCalc to the QuickBooks application programming interface (API) to make it easier to import trial balances and to send journals back to the client’s bookkeeping system. The connections can feed accounts production and corporation tax modules and relevant income data can be imported for individual directors’ tax returns too, according to Guest.
The new feature will be included in the April TaxCalc release. While TaxCalc has developed a close working relationship with Intuit around the project, Guest said the company was taking a “plural approach” and would be adding similar two-way links to other cloud accounting systems.
The integration is notable for the way it connects the desktop TaxCalc practice suite with QuickBooks Online (QBO) via TaxCalc’s Cloud Connect online database.
Shifting software landscape
TaxCalc has its own MTD product that will bring it into competition with Intuit’s QuickBooks MTD suite, a sign of the growing tension between co-operation and competition within the wider accounting software industry. MTD is lured the big cloud software platforms into following Sage’s example and dabbling in compliance tools, but Guest is not convinced that they will pose a threat to TaxCalc.
“We’re better off being close to them than not,” he said. “VAT is local, but it’s pretty close to bookkeeping and has a lot of equivalents elsewhere. Compliance is much simpler than final accounts production, and income tax computations.”
Few international developers have successfully tackled tax compliance in multiple jurisdictions, yet, said Guest, and any such developments would not work for practitioners who supported clients on multiple accounting platforms.
“Intuit and Xero probably feel there’s a quicker route to co-operate with people like us and develop mass market tools in other areas,” he said.
There’s a bit of history to the alliance, as the original TaxCalc program was written by Intuit and sold to Acorah Software, its current owner, in 2005. TaxCalc come a long way since then and is now one of the leading players in the UK tax/compliance market that has attracted the US software house’s attention in the past year or so.
AccountingWEB will be keeping an eye out to see how the relationship develops.